Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gale came, then everyone went to bed

Funny how some people just make you want to go to sleep.

Not sure if its their grey personality, their habits or lack of jokes but Gale seems to certainly be one of those types.

For our team of Antarctic ski climbers who managed to ascend 12 different peaks during their time on the white continent they all feel the same way about Gale.

Its a bit of a shame, because when you get to know Gale, she really does have some interesting sides to her, but maybe that just takes a special type of person to be able to see that.

We left Antarctica in mill pond perfect conditions, the whale society was out in full force for our departure, waving their hands, tails and blowing their horns. ooooh what a send off it was.

We settled down into sea life again, as Xplore changed face from "Hotel" mode back to southern ocean sailing mode, the forecast was for a soft start and then two periods when we would get some stronger winds The (Gale Sisters)

I write as a few snores and grumbles come slipping out from the cabin door ways, its been sitting stead at 38 to 45 knots of wind coming from the ENE, seas are about 4 meters.

The barometer is continuing to drop rapidly as we strategically position our self to go through the centre of the low pressure cell the heart of Gale) and then exit on the WNW side of Gale to give us a favorable wind direction to make the final run into Tierra Del Fuego and the Beagle Channel.

Position at present 60 degrees 19 minutes south, 65 degrees 44 minutes West


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beef Indian Curry

Position 65 degrees 14 minutes South, 64 degrees 15 minutes west, Antarctica

We are located in Stellar Creek, chartered in 1935 by the British vessel Beagle.

This is located on the island of Galindez which was discovered in 1903 by the French expedition under Charcot.

Galindez is part of an island archipelago called the Argentine Islands, again discovered and chartered by French Charcot and named Argentine in appreciation for all of their support of their expedition.

But what has this got to do with Indian beef curry ?

Well tonight we are enjoying a fantastic Indian beef curry, made by an Australian, particularly for the British team of ski climbers that we have on board because a good curry is renowned as their favorite national dish.

It is accompanied by extras prepared by an Argentinean and 2 French, and is just in time before we visit the Antarctic station which is close near by which is Ukrainian, but formally was English.

Hmmm, a slightly large mix of international elements to the whole day.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

What to write ?

Writing can be such a power thing, for the writer and for the receiver.

But there are times when its hard to know "what" to write, even though you just know that there is something itching to come out, some part of your soul and experiences that need to be put down on paper.

I sit here tonight (well I cant really call it night as December in Antarctica and its close surrounding waters is never dark) but there I go,I've where was I, that's right, trying to find something to write about.

Our climbing / skiing expedition leader,Jim has stuck his head up from the cabin, he's a tall chap and a metabolism of a 17 year old youth, and the engine that drives him needs fuel, he's been just a tad queasy for the first day, but now that his sea legs are really kicking in his worms are restless.

Duracell Dave, our expedition surgeon, well he's been bouncing off the walls and ceiling, great guy to have around for a chat and a helping hand, always looking for something to do, and with a permanent smile, he's infectious.

Ski expedition surrogate woman Bethan, has come back to the world, its her first ocean sail, and the understandable nerves of the Drake started early.she took to her bunk and we didn't see her for the first 24 hours as the seas were a bit lumpy and not a training play ground, safe move. But now she's up and in the Admirals seat of the companion way and amazed at how the boat doesn't roll over, tucking into a modest bowl of Shepard's pie, she's a happy girl now and back off to bed.

More news on the team and its members as the adventure unfolds.

Position 61 58 South 63 04 West course 181 true speed 9.1 knots,

temp 3.3C water temp 1C wind WNW 24 knots


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Slay Bells Ring

How can one ever explain the joys of ocean sailing unless you have experienced it... and not been sea sick !

Ohh my heart goes out to those who do suffer this malady. and I can say that from my experience of youth when I also used to be vilently sea sick. My first encounters of sailing there in South Australia still bring vivid memories back to my mind and stomach.

We have taken the plunge across the Drake, the first stage was rough, wet and exhausting, for all of the team in their own ways, but slowly each have bounced back after fighting their own fears, dreads and doubts about what the Drake will be for them.

I am though very proud of each and every one, because they really came for what is on the other side, and their dreams were far stronger than their fear of the Drake, the white continent Antarctica is getting closer !

Position 59 15 South 63 09 West, course 169 degrees true, wind 29 knots WNW, boat speed 10.2 knots, out side temperature 4.1 C, water temp 4 C

Xplore Expeditions